Uber South Africa has introduced a new, pilot cash indicator feature which allows Uber driver-partners to choose whether they’d like to accept a cash trip request or not.
The company said it received feedback from driver-partners expressing their need to be able to choose the kind of trips they want to accept.
This feedback stems from their focus groups, comments at partner appreciation events and recent safety working groups, Uber said in a statement.
“While some driver-partners have asked for the cash option to be removed, other driver-partners feel the cash option has opened them up to new riders and provides the consumer with more choice,” said Jonathan Ayache, general manager Uber South Africa.
“Cash is a dominant payment method in Africa and many riders do not have cards to use on the app; cash removes the barrier for those without a card who want to use Uber,” he said.
“That’s why it’s not feasible to remove the cash option completely – we believe riders should have the freedom to pay for rides how they wish, but we also believe that driver-partners should have the freedom to accept cash trips or not.”
The cash indicator will now only appear to driver-partners on cash trips – no indicator will pop up for card trips.
The dispatch process will not be impacted at all, should a driver choose to decline the request, the app will immediately alert another driver-partner.
In addition, driver-partners who decline to accept a cash trip will not face any consequences.
According to Ayache, Uber has introduced many key safety features that did not exist before the introduction of the Uber app in South Africa.
“We are in the business of technology; we’ve introduced many key safety features that did not exist before the introduction of the Uber in South Africa. We remain committed to using and investing in technological solutions to any issues, safety included,” he said.
“Unfortunately, Uber’s technology cannot prevent crime, but with the introduction of core safety features such as GPS tracking, 24/7 support, an emergency number for drivers, as well as our partnership with multiple security companies, and now, the cash indicator, we are doing everything we can to prioritise the safety of those using the Uber app.”